“Impact of Temporary Well Shut-ins on Unconventional Reservoir Performance”

Authors: Dr. Tuba Firincioglu, Director Unconventional Reservoir Projects, and
NITEC’s Senior Reservoir Engineers:
(Dr. B. Basbug,  Dr. M. Freeman, V. Petunin, Dr. H Sarak),
NITEC LLC Research White Paper, May 2020


This paper summarizes the expected reservoir response after long shut-in periods, and the impact on oil production for different unconventional reservoir basins.  The analysis discussed in this paper is based on NITEC’s experience modeling unconventional reservoirs and our understanding of how these resources work.  The  results are based on new simulation forecasts from NITEC’s extensive modeling experience with the major UC reservoirs .  The results are generated using Ridgeway Kite’s 6X simulator.    The figures are generated using NITEC’s Lynx post processor.  The findings represent example responses for typical wells within each basin.  They may not apply to every well and every situation as they are merely examples and do not represent any particular location, asset or well.

Recent reduction in oil demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic will shape the oil industry in the coming months.  Storage shortages in the US put an extra strain on the WTI, which resulted in negative spot prices and front month futures during late April.  Under these circumstances, oil companies responded by temporarily shutting-in production wells to prevent losing money on each barrel of oil they sell.  The length of these temporary shut-ins is not known and will depend on how quickly the world recovers from the pandemic and when the demand for oil returns.

When the market returns to more normal conditions and the shut-in wells are opened for production, the question will be how will these wells perform after the long shut-in periods.  This issues needs to be addressed on two fronts: Reservoir and Operations.  Once the reservoir response is understood, operational changes can be implemented to address the possible negative impact on production from the long shut-in period.

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